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Cargo Remote

Use with caution, I didn't test this software well and it is a really hacky (at least for now). If you want to test it please create a VM or at least a separate user on your build host

Why I built it

One big annoyance when working on rust projects on my notebook are the compile times. Since I'm using rust nightly for some of my projects I have to recompile rather often. Currently there seem to be no good remote-build integrations for rust, so I decided to build one my own.

Planned capabilities

This first version is very simple (could have been a bash script), but I intend to enhance it to a point where it detects compatibility between local and remote versions, allows (nearly) all cargo commands and maybe even load distribution over multiple machines.


For now only cargo remote [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] <command> works: it copies the current project to a temporary directory (~/remote-builds/<project_name>) on the remote server, calls cargo <command> remotely and optionally (-c) copies back the resulting target folder. This assumes that server and client are running the same rust version and have the same processor architecture. On the client ssh and rsync need to be installed.

If you want to pass remote flags you have to end the options/flags section using --. E.g. to build in release mode and copy back the result use:

cargo remote -c -- build --release


You can place a config file called .cargo-remote.toml in the same directory as your Cargo.toml or at ~/.config/cargo-remote/cargo-remote.toml. There you can define a default remote build host and user. It can be overridden by the -r flag.

Example config file:

name = "myRemote" # Not needed for a single remote
host = "myUser@myServer" # Could also be a ssh config entry
ssh_port = 42 # defaults to 22
temp_dir = "~/rust" # Default is "~/remote-builds"
env = "~/.profile" # Default is "/etc/profile"

Flags and options

    cargo remote [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] <command> [remote options]...

        --help               Prints help information
    -h, --transfer-hidden    Transfer hidden files and directories to the build server
        --no-copy-lock       don't transfer the Cargo.lock file back to the local machine
    -V, --version            Prints version information

    -b, --build-env <build_env>              Set remote environment variables. RUST_BACKTRACE, CC, LIB, etc.  [default:
    -c, --copy-back <copy_back>              Transfer the target folder or specific file from that folder back to the
                                             local machine
    -e, --env <env>                          Environment profile. default_value = /etc/profile
    -H, --remote-host <host>                 Remote ssh build server with user or the name of the ssh entry
        --manifest-path <manifest_path>      Path to the manifest to execute [default: Cargo.toml]
    -r, --remote <name>                      The name of the remote specified in the config
    -d, --rustup-default <rustup_default>    Rustup default (stable|beta|nightly) [default: stable]
    -p, --remote-ssh-port <ssh_port>         The ssh port to communicate with the build server
    -t, --remote-temp-dir <temp_dir>         The directory where cargo builds the project

    <command>              cargo command that will be executed remotely
    <remote options>...    cargo options and flags that will be applied remotely

How to install

git clone
cargo install --path cargo-remote/

MacOS Problems

It was reported that the rsync version shipped with MacOS doesn't support the progress flag and thus fails when cargo-remote tries to use it. You can install a newer version by running

brew install rsync

See also #10.